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Vitt-icisms: Monday Q-and-A with the coach
When the Rams return from their bye week, interim coach Joe Vitt expects to have quarterback Marc Bulger, receiver Torry Holt and defensive end Leonard Little back in the lineup.
Receiver Isaac Bruce still looks questionable for the game at Seattle a week from Sunday. “Isaac, when he can play, he will play, believe me,” Vitt said.
In Vitt’s mind, the benefits of getting the team healthier during the bye week outweigh the potential for lost momentum.
“It will give our players a chance to heal up,” he said. “We go into the bye in a great frame of mind. We feel after the bye we'll almost be full tilt. Coming out of the bye, we’re playing our archrival, Seattle. The guys will come back next Monday ready to go to work.”
Here are Vitt’s thoughts on some other issues:
On the team’s victory over Jacksonville:
“We played with a lot of passion, we played the game violent, we ran to the ball, we created the turnovers on defense when we needed them, the offense protected the ball when it needed to protect it. We got some real strong runs out of Steven (Jackson) to take some time of possession. It was a great, great win for our football team. Now we move on.”
On what the coaching staff will do during the bye week:
“For the next two days, we’re going to do all self-scouting, offensively and defensively, take a hard look at what we’re doing schematically, what works, what doesn’t work, what are we asking our people to do, and make sure it fits.
“Defensively, what we’re going to do is take a look at every run over 10 yards, every pass play over 20 yards, what was the coverage, who was the man responsible, what situation did we call it in, what was the line stunt when we called it.”
On the need to exploit Jackson’s running ability:
“Steven has proven he has the ability to take over a game. I think we have to play that card. We have to try to get him 20 touches a game. We’d be crazy not to. Now all of a sudden, when you have Torry back and you’ve got Marc back and we’ll get Isaac back, now you will present real problems for a defense. They can’t get into an eight-man front. They can’t sit in a two-deep shell. It is a real cat-and-mouse game now.”
On the play of quarterback Jamie Martin:
“At the end of the day, Jamie got both those wins. For the most part, he protected the ball. He did a good job, I thought, of running the offense, in and out of the huddle. He made big plays when he had to play big plays. I thought the screen to Steven was well-executed. I thought he threw a great ball to Kevin (Curtis). He did exactly what he had to do to win. We’re proud of him.”
On the value of that early bomb to Curtis:
“We had to send a message, you can’t play the run all day long. That was huge. All of a sudden the safeties are on their heels a little bit. So are the corners. Huge play. Well-thrown, nice route by Kevin.”
On the team’s run defense:
“This was a game that kind of played into our hands a little bit. We were able to keep our regular defensive personnel in the game. We had three instances when they went sub and we kept our three linebackers in there and it kind of messed them up a little bit. That’s something we’re going to explore, also. This was the kind of game that really fits the (Chris) Claiborne-(Dexter) Coakley style of play.”
On the special teams:
“In my opinion, the last two weeks, at the end of the day, special teams won the game for us. That was a huge blocked punt. We had a blocked field goal attempt. Because of our rush, I think it had something to do with their two missed field goals. Our coverage teams have been playing really well. Now we just have to get the return game together.
“They have contributed to two big, big wins for us.”
On the play of cornerback Corey Ivy on Jaguars receiver Jimmy Smith:
“I thought Corey Ivy did a real good job of jamming him and disrupting him at the line of scrimmage. Jimmy Smith has hall-of-fame numbers. There wasn’t one defense that we were going to call that didn’t account for him. We either tilted the safety that way or played a two deep and tried to cloud him and tried also to fit the run. ”
On Adam Timmerman overcoming a back injury:
“Adam locked up at the end of the week last week and missed Friday’s practice. He didn’t feel a whole lot better Saturday, so that started to be a concern. I saw him at pre-game yesterday morning and he said it unlocked at 10 o’clock Saturday night and I’m ready to go. We know that Adam is a gamer. And this is the type of game he really likes because there are two big guys inside, they are not moving targets, they are going to anchor down in there. It kind of played into his hands.”
On being in the middle of the NFC hunt at 4-4:
“I think it’s anybody’s guess. In my opinion, the month of November will separate the pretenders from the contenders. This is going to be a big month for us coming up. This is when you have to establish yourself and what is your intent. Are you going to be for real or are you just waiting for the season to get over and run for the bus. I’ll know what we’ll do. We’ll prepare hard and we’ll have great intent.”
On helping rookie tackle Alex Barron get back on track after his spate of penalties:
“We’ve got great veteran leadership on this team. There is nothing I can say to Alex that Orlando (Pace) already hasn’t said to him, Marshall (Faulk) already hasn’t said to him, the offensive line coaches haven’t said to him, Adam (Timmerman) is in his ear. They’re just trying to build this kid up. This kid is going to make some mistakes along the way. He’s young.
“But he’s athletic. He works hard. He wants to be a great player. You have to work through these things. This is not the time to holler and scream and now you’re the master of the obvious. Now’s the time to try to pick the kid back up again.
“He’s tough mentally. He has great pride in what he does. He wants to be the best. Our football team has really kind of gravitated toward him because everybody likes working with him. Everybody likes being around him. He’ll be special.”
On the play of cornerback Ron Bartell:
“He played really well. He’s got length, he’s got a second gear, he’s playing with a lot more poise now, he’s playing with his feet on the ground. He’s playing with great anticipation. He’s really starting to play with a lot of confidence.”
On the play of safety Mike Furrey:
“Mike has made two great big plays for us the last two games. Game-winning plays, because we take the lead on the interception. He knows he still has to tackle better, take better angles to the ball. The long run, he’s the last line of defense, he’s got to make that play, he knows that. He’s going to come in tomorrow and work on tackling. And he’s going to get better. He’s one of those guys our players and our coaches trust him, because he’s going to give you everything he has, he's going to prepare well and when the game is on the line, that’s when he seems to play the best. Somehow, some way, he comes up with a play.”
-11-01-2005 #2gap Guest
Re: Vitt-icisms: Monday Q-and-A with the coach
I like this guy. He seems to be real square on. Not much of an excuses guy. Just calls it like he sees it, without taking his guys down a notch.